In general my bookshelves are a quiet riot. Leather bound volumes rub against the shiny dust jackets of new books, occasionally throwing a warped paperback into the mosh pit of the shelf below. But I have a few old favorites that are too fragile and elderly for that kind of hurly burly. They could use a little extra stability before going out in public. It is also a sad fact that my small but cherished collection of science fiction from previous decades has some embarrassingly bad covers. (That genre just got no respect until recently.) Given all that, I decided to give a few of my paperbacks a makeover.
I pulled out a few colorful maps from my wrapping paper bin. My local university’s earth science library had printed out these sheets from computer map files, and because they had several printing flaws they wound up in a giveaway pile. I nabbed them for their brilliant colors and abstract patterns.
I used the traditional book wrapping method that every kid learns on high school textbooks: fold the top and bottom of the paper up to match the height of the book, then insert the covers into the pockets formed on the right and left. It’s fast and easy, especially with paper large enough that no skimping is necessary on the pockets.
To highlight the saturated colors of the maps, I taped the spines with some wonderful 4-inch washi tape I picked up at a hobby store in Japan. Its colored flowers blend into the patterns on the map.
All together, these look cheerful on my shelf and can stand up to a few more readings. I could see using this technique on gift books as well as my wobbly old paperbacks.
What’s your favorite method of book repair/disguise?